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Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner spends the day on familiar turf: farm country

Author: Dan Njegomir - August 22, 2017 - Updated: August 22, 2017

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U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, left, inspects hail-damaged crops in rural Kiowa County. (Photo courtesy of Sen. Cory Gardner’s office.)

Now that Colorado Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has been wielding the mic and fielding bruising questions from a roving rabble of activists at town hall-style meetings around the state, it seems the months-long drumbeat for him to meet with the masses is dying down. Enough so for him to take some time for a kind of constituent outreach that takes him back to his rural roots.

Gardner’s office announced Monday he had just wrapped up “day one of his annual Colorado Farm Tour” on Colorado’s eastern plains. The weeklong event will take him to farms, ranches and rural towns to help him determine — as he puts it in Monday’s press release —  how “to best serve our farmers, ranchers, and small businesses involved in agriculture.”

The press statement sketched out the first day’s whirlwind itinerary:

Gardner started off the day in Kit Carson County at Eastern Colorado Seeds in Burlington. He then went to Cheyenne County to meet with some local farm bureau members before stopping at Nan’s in Cheyenne Wells for a lunch meeting with county officials and additional farmers from the community. Gardner’s next stop of the day was in Kiowa County at a Milo farm a few miles outside of Eads. Also included in the day was a separate stop away from the farm tour. Gardner visited Camp Amache, a Japanese Internment Camp that was near Granada during WWII and met with local high school students, as well as Granada city and Prowers County officials.

Arguably, as tiring as a town hall. What has he learned from the people he is meeting? He’s quoted in the statement:

“Two of the issues that seem to come up at every stop are government regulations and trade … I will continue to support efforts to eliminate burdensome and duplicative government regulations that hamper Colorado’s agriculture community, and I’m going to keep pushing back on the Administration regarding any changes in trade policies that limit Colorado farmers access to new export markets across the world.”

As we’ve noted before, Gardner has sought to temper the Trump administration’s populist penchant for protectionism. After all, free trade not only is an article of faith in the GOP; it’s also good for business down on the farm.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.